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KAIST Won’t Publish Dean Evaluation

Posted February. 23, 2006 03:07,   


The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) Professors’ Council, led by professor Kang Seok-jung, discussed the matter of reappointing dean Robert Laughlin at a general meeting attended by about 100 professors yesterday at Turman Hall in the school’s Creative Learning Center.

The council had originally planned to publish the results of a survey on whether to re-appoint the dean or not, but decided not to do so. It is said that the majority opinion of the survey was against the re-appointment.

The council conducted a survey of 409 professors and asked questions about Laughlin’s leadership, his efforts to ensure financial support, his sense of duty, his work to promote the university’s image, and 11 other issues.

Council president Kang Seok-jung said, “It is a survey on job performance commonly used by the professors’ council when a dean’s term is coming to an end,” and added that “the survey result will be submitted to the board of directors for reference, but not published to the outside world.”

Laughlin, who is currently on vacation at his home in California, said that “there is no reason to be shaken by collective action from professors. I will return to Korea this weekend and focus on the school’s reform.”

Lee Hyeon-gyeong, Laughlin’s secretary, said, “The dean reached an agreement with his professors not to publish the survey results. He said he would have something to tell the media on his return to Korea if the results are made public.”

On the other hand, the Ministry of Science and Technology asked the KAIST Professors’ Council to establish a subcommittee to objectively evaluate Laughlin’s achievements and disposition.

Laughlin’s two-year term ends on July 14, and he will receive a letter 90 days before the final day of his term regarding his re-appointment.

KAIST will make its final decision regarding Laughlin’s re-appointment at a regular board meeting next month. If the board of directors does not oppose renewing the contract, the term will be automatically extended for two more years. It is believed that Laughlin hopes to be re-appointed.

Ki-Jin Lee doyoce@donga.com